Office Girls


Reviewed by: sukting

February 26, 2014

Rating: three

How long
25 episodes

Foreword
This is on the working life of ordinary workers at Jing Shi Department Store. How does romance occur in the office? It is a typical rich boy meets his damsel in distress story.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Qiu Zhe as Qin Zi Qi
Unknown to Xin Ren and everyone else there, Zi Qi is the son of Mu Bai, the Chairman of Jing Shi Department Store and is pampered rotten by Hua. He gets his MBA and speaks fluent English. Mu Bai has challenged him to a test to prove he deserves to lead Jing Shi Department Store. Zi Qi has to live on a low salary for one year, without the luxuries he is used to, and cannot reveal his true identity to start as a clerk.

Zi Qi is alarmed and reluctant as he is given a small apartment to stay beside Xin Ren. He can't buy branded goods. Neither can he spin-drive in his convertible. Many treat him as a newcomer who lacks money. He has to learn how to take care of himself. He is handsome, smart and rich. Due to all these factors, he becomes self-centred and doesn't care. However, when he is pushed, he will do his best. So even though he is late for work and knocks off early, his credits make others helpless to pinpoint him.

He doesn't agree with Xin Ren's working analogy but later discovers how her theory saves him. He gets used to the commoner life. Despite their constant bickering, they realize they like each other and begin dating. He becomes interested in business management. He is a man of few words but can be straightforward to rebuke without thinking. Thus, the person he offends most is his father. Initially he

He is reluctant when the company wants to send her to Paris for further studies. Eventually, she stays in Taiwan as her mother falls ill. He can bend his principles to want to borrow money from Mu Bai for Shu Fang to seek treatment.

When Zi Qi's identity is revealed, Xin Ren is upset that he lied to her, but she eventually forgives him. The series ends with Xin Ren and Zi Qi's wedding. Zi Qin later becomes the general manager of the company. I adore Zhe's new look here. He looks totally refreshed with short crop hair and is good as the spoilt brat who turns good. Many will be pleased with his stunning performance. All emotional scenes are done beautifully and all will be touched by what he has done for Xin Ren.

2. Ke Jia Yan as Shen Xin Ren
Xin Ren is a staff member in the Sales Department of Jing Shi Department Store. At age 25, she has worked there for four years. She is tasked with training and mentoring Zi Qi, 28, a new entry-level member of the Sales Department. Although she is pissed off with his arrogant attitude, she is impressed by his good memory. He can memorise all the brands within a walk of each level.

Xin Ren and Zi Qi clash - she is frugal, saving every single cent so she can buy a house in Taipei for her and her mother. He is used to living large and spending big. She is extremely loyal to Jing Shi Department Store and is content with her job but he thinks the department store need to clean house and get rid of senior management who are stuck in inefficient ways.

She is later promoted to become a team leader. As her father dies young, she is educated to be independent to want to earn enough money to buy a house so that Shu Fang can move in with her. She has a strong sense of justice to want to protect the environment. She knows that she is not very capable but she never slips on her job. She cares too much for others and is often at a disadvantage.

Feeling that she is not good enough for Zi Qi, she goes to Paris to upgrade herself to reduce their gap. Jia Yan gives a boring performance. Maybe the character is written as too one-sided with no excitement. Her pairing with Zhe is compatible in looks but she is restrained in many scenes.

3. Wen Sheng Hao as Yu Cheng Feng
Ren suggests inviting her idol, an internationally renown designer, to set up a counter in their store. Mu Bai likes the idea and also gets Cheng Feng to be the senior manager as he wants someone to control his son. Despite Cheng Feng having publicly stated that his designs will never be sold in department stores, Xin Ren with Zi Qi tagging along set out to get him to accept their proposal.

Cheng Feng agrees later after knowing that Xin Ren is his first customer who appreciates his first design. He even gives her the draft and also accedes to her request. However, his condition is he has to design local ones and not luxurious designs. He wants to break away from Min Na who has restricted his designs. Zi Qi often gets jealous to see how Xin Ren worships Cheng Feng. Cheng Feng isn't old but it is weird that he wants Xin Ren to address him as Old Yu – to claim seniority?

Cheng Feng is serious, gentle and has good taste. People of any gender will be attracted by his pleasant personality but when it comes to work, he is very strict to want others to complete projects on time. Still, he doesn't use hardhanded methods to convince others to listen to him. In the end, he marries Min Na and has a daughter. The family of three attend the couple's wedding.

Sheng Hao looks a bit tired in here. It doesn't help much as Cheng Feng as the fashion designer does not own a lavish wardrobe like Zi Qi. I can't feeling that the clothes unit is too biased.

4. Li Yu Fen as Zheng Kai Er
Attracted to Kai Er, the assistant manager in the Merchants Department. Kai Er is attractive and is ambitious. She knows how to please others and will make others suffer to satisfy her greed. She can lecture others with a smile and is a double-edged sword.

Kai Er agrees to be just good friends but is jealous of the relationship between Zi Qi and Xin Ren. Kai Er tries to ruin the relationship between the two on a number of occasions. On one occasion, she even wears Zi Qi's long sleeve shirt and goes to Xin Ren's apartment in her underwear to hint to Xin Ren to back off.

She discovers that she likes him and is more determined to win him over after knowing his status. She tries hard to make Xin Ren quit after setting her up to offend a pregnant customer. She even claims that Xin Ren is dishonest to steal Hua's shopping vouchers. She also lies to Hua that her rich parents are in Canada. In reality, her father leaves home after causing her mother to knock her head into a table.

Till now, her mother is still in a coma and is in debt. She is the Assistant Manager and later Manager but she is not satisfied. She keeps spreading negative news about the couple and also the company. Kai Er hates her past and thus wants to climb up the social ladder.

She discovers that Mu Bai knows her past all along and is the one who sponsors her studies. She later feels remorseful and resigns to work in another company. It seems that it gives her a good start to meet a client who intends to woo her. This actress looks like Xu Ruo Xuan. Acting wise, she isn't wicked enough although she is very pretty.

5. Cai Shu Zhen as Wei Min Na
Supermodel as Cheng Feng's spokesperson and is Cheng Feng's girlfriend. She is the source of his design. Both know each other when he is still an unknown in Paris. She is already famous then but she doesn't mind it to fall in love with him. Their love is stable till he requests to return to Taiwan to get married and develop his career.

She rejects him due to her successful career and insists him to return to Paris with her. She even finds Xin Ren an eyesore and makes life difficult for her. Later, she becomes a better person after living with Xin Ren for a while. She changes her life to marry him and stay in Taiwan. Her character is the same as the spitfire in ‘Momo Love' – there is no surprise at all.

6. Guo Shu Yao As Liu Yu Le
Roommate who works in the HR department at Jing Shi Department Store. She is pretty but petite. She can be careless and likes to go to fortune tellers. That is why Zi Qi often teases her. She often gets the wrong facts to lead others on a wild goose chase. Still, she is a faithful friend to help Xin Ren look after Shu Fang when she is busy and stands up for her when she gets bullied. Shu Yao canbe too loud at times and her voice is too sharp when she yells.

7. Li Pei Xu as Shi Te Long
The Manager of Sales Department at Jing Shi Department Storewho lacks ambition. He pushes his subordinates to do the job and likes to please his superiors. However, he is nice to his subordinates later and even tries to make Xin Ren stay on when she gives him the resignation letter.

It is Kai Er who adds the word ‘bu' – ‘no't in front of his words ‘to make her stay' which creates lots of trouble. When Le Le is threatened to resign as Kai Er frames her for stealing Hua's shopping vouchers, he sides for her that there is nothing on CCTV when she hands the vouchers to Man Di. He also starts with the rest to give Xin Ren money for her mother's operation.

He likes Le Le and tries to woo her. He places a ring into a bar of chocolate but she gives it to Lu Cha who shares with Man Di to cause Man Di to swallow it by mistake. Pei Xu is a comedian but I find that he is being stereotyped – just like his role in ‘The Fierce Wife'.

8. Shen Ming Sheng as Qin Mu Bai
Chairman of Jing Shi Department Store. When young, he strives hard to build up the empire. He seems inflexible unlike his name but he treats the staff like his family. So, he approves Zi Qi to be with Xin Ren despite Hua's objection. His sense of humour is only shown to Ren Yue. He is very strict with Zi Qi to cancel all his credit cards, car and also forbid him to return home for one year. He actually has high hopes for him and hopes he becomes a worthy successor.

9. Lin Xiu Jun as Ye Hua
Zi Qi's mother and Mu Bai's ex-wife. They part in a sour note and she is given the company shares in return for Zi Qi's custody. They keep this from Zi Qi. Hua returns to Taiwan from the United States. She is displeased that Zi Qi is a normal worker in the company.

She tries to force Mu Bai to promote Zi Qi to Executive Vice President but backs down when Zi Qi convinces her that Mu Bai is right to challenge him. He has also gotten used to his new life. Hua initially disapproves of Xin Ren who she feels is beneath Zi Qi. She comes to accept her afte realising that Kai Er lies to her. She becomes a hospital volunteer. This is what I call a diva – although she doesn't appear in many scenes, she gives a powerful performance.

10. Lang Zu Jun as Feng Ren Yue
She is the Vice Chairman of Jing Shi Department Store. She follows Mu Bai for some decades starting as his accountant and is now his capable assistant. She is single but treats the staff well. She is very responsible and impartial to complete her work on time. She is the best supporter for the couple. She treats Zi Qi like her son and is often the mediator between him and his father.

11. Lin Jun Yong as Lu Cha
Xin Ren's coworker in the Sales Department at Jing Shi Department Store. He gets the nickname as he likes sugarless green tea. He likes Le Le but is often belittled by Tai Long.

12. Xiao 8 as Jian Man Di
Xin Ren's coworker in the Sales Department at Jing Shi Department Store. She is clumsy but she follows the tide as fast as you can turn the pages of a book.

13. Luo Ping as Michael
He is Cheng Feng's capable personal assistant. He always makes careful planning on his schedules. Hye is long-winded but has a strong sense of justice.

14. Yang Li Ying as Zhang Shu Fang
She is Xin Ren's mother who overworks and suffers from stomach cancer as a result. She grows organic plants and uses the earnings to bring Xin Ren up. She isn't deterred by Zi Qi's status and insists of returning Hua the medical bill by mortgaging her province house. She later becomes a blogger to share her recipes with others. I find this actress's expressions very irritating – she could have mellowed down a bit.

15. Xu Teng Fang as Paul
Qi's friend who is rich from estate management. Zi Qi often goes to him to pour his woes and he often gives Zi Qi good advice.

Interesting facts
It is nominated for 2012 Golden Bell awards – programme promotion and advertisement awards but it did not win. However, the drama received positive reviews and shot Zhe to popularity again.

Most favourite character
Zi Qi, he is actually a warm person and sets his priorities well. All will be touched on how anxious he is when Xin Ren faints at home and how anxious he sends her to hospital and how he tells Hua that his feelings for Xin Ren will never change no matter what she does.

Most hated character
Kai Er, she keeps getting between the couple to do plenty of sabotaging but luckily both have faith and trust in each other to get over the crisis.

Song
The opening theme is ‘No No' by Zhuo Wen Xuan – too childish to my liking. Her voice reminds me of Shu Yao's high pitch voice.

Conclusion
This drama has a balanced mix of romance and work. The scenes are quite realistic in the shopping mall when it shows how different departments work. It becomes predictable towards the end – throw in a low rival and a mother to create discord between the couple is just to kill time. Another cancer case development is included just to show how pitiful our heroine is.

Acting wise, it depends on Zhe most of the time to hold the forte. The couple's last meeting together should be romantic or touching but it turns out to be a drag. They only recite the lines by hard – what a letdown! They could have done better. It is with deep regret that the plot is not developed completely.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

On song : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)


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